CHC Group has announced it will be the first helicopter operator to introduce Leonardo's super-medium AW189 helicopter into Australia.
Canada-based helicopter services specialist CHC Group has announced it will be the first helicopter operator to introduce Leonardo's super-medium AW189 helicopter into Australia. Three AW189s will be flown from CHC’s Karratha base on behalf of Australian oil and gas company Woodside to support operations on the North West Shelf starting this month.
CHC says the twin-engine aircraft, which can be configured to carry up to 19 passengers, will provide passenger transfer flights to Woodside’s installations. It exceeds the most recent FAA and EASA Part 29 safety standards and is the first large helicopter in Australia to be designed to Maintenance Steering Group-3 (MSG-3) processes, which aim to provide greater reliability and reduced maintenance man-hours.
The move follows the operator's announcement in July that it was leasing five new aircraft from GECAS’ Milestone Aviation Group Limited — three Leonardo AW189s and two Airbus H175s. It said the new aircraft would be configured for energy transport missions in the North Sea and Australia. The inaugural flight of the H175 to the Ocean Patriot rig in the North Sea took place on 5th September.
According to CHC, the introduction of the AW189 provides a level of operational flexibility not previously seen in the Australian offshore market.
CHC has operated Leonardo aircraft since taking delivery of its first commercial AW139 in the region back in 2005. CHC started flying AW139s in Australia in 2008 for emergency rescue and as oil and gas passenger transfer services.